Ciara Leeming

Story: Istanbul’s Roma Community
Instructor: Rena Effendi

“Yukselʼs family has lived in Kucuk Bakkalkoy, on the Asian side of Istanbul, for generations. They are Roma. Turkey is home to one of the largest Roma populations in the world – an estimated two million people. The Roma – who are thought to have arrived in the region during the 13th century, and to originate in India – are not legally recognised as an ethnic minority within Turkey. Yet here as elsewhere across Europe, the community is subject to frequent discrimination, ranging from overt harassment to more subtle institutional racism. As I get to know them, I see ordinary people doing their best to get by, and see how they remain proud of their Roma heritage and distinctive culture”.


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